FALL RIVER — Nauset clearly trusts senior running back Miles Perry ... and its offensive line.

Perry rushed 38 times for 145 yards as the Warriors power rushing game was key in a 21-12 football win over Durfee on Friday night at Mac Aldrich Field.

Nauset ran 59 plays to Durfee's 31. Perry carried 38 times for 145 yards. In the second half for Perry, it was 26 carries for 100 yards. He scored all three Nauset touchdowns, on runs of 3, 1 and 4 yards.

After racking up 80 points through its first two games of the season, Nauset was shut out by Durfee in a 0-0 first half. The Warriors opened the second half with an eight-play, 64 yard touchdown drive. Durfee immediately fumbled the ball away, and Nauset (3-0) needed to drive just 19 yards in going up 14-0.

Before the third quarter was complete, Durfee junior Bryan Cruz turned a short swing pass into an electrifying 70-yard touchdown, with the conversion rush failing.

Helped by a pass interference penalty against Durfee (2-2), Nauset drove 52 yards for a TD to go up 21-6 with 2:45 to play.

But completions of 16 and 22 yards from Isaiah Thomas to Cruz plus a 15-yard Nauset penalty quickly put Durfee in position for Jason Hall's 1-yard touchdown run with 2:06 still to play. A failed conversion pass left Durfee two scores behind. Nauset recovered the onside kick and killed the clock.

"They just run power and power and power," Durfee coach Taylor Brown said. "The only thing we have to do is stop it. At times we did. And at times they came through with it and punched it in at the end."

Durfee sophomore Jevon Holley returned the opening kickoff 47 yards to the Nauset 27 and three plays later, Durfee had first down at the Warrior 13. But a fumble on the ensuing snap led to a seven-yard loss. That was followed by a five-yard penalty and then a sack and the promising drive died at the 35.

For the evening, the Hilltopper offense was penalized six times for 50 yards.

Durfee was held to 21 total yards in the first half. Thanks largely to Cruz, they produced 115 in the second half. Nauset outgained Durfee 261-136.

"We didn't come through at important times in the game," Brown said. "Penalties killed us again, all day. We'll just get better from this one and respond next week."

Email Greg Sullivan at gsullivan@heraldnews.com. Follow him @GregSullivanHN.